Dallas has become a landing spot for busloads of migrant families being sent north from Laredo and Del Rio, which are currently being overwhelmed by a spike in migrants crossing the Mexican border.
The number of people fleeing unrest, poverty, and violence in countries like Honduras and Guatemala has caused the number of people seeking safety in the United States to swell to numbers not seen in the last two decades.
Laredo’s spokeswoman Noraida Negron has confirmed that the city can no longer handle the influx of people being sent to them by the Border Patrol. As a result, they have sent approximately 800 people north to Dallas, Houston, and Austin.
On Wednesday night, another bus arrived in Dallas unannounced and full of people needing help. The families were from Haiti and Cuba, many of whom do not speak English or even know where they have been sent. Some lack basic needs like shoes. Wednesday’s bus was the fourth of its kind to arrive in the last few weeks, and like those before it, it sent local officials, non-profits, and Spanish-speaking police officers scrambling to provide aid.
As soon as the 911 call came in from a concerned worker at the bus depot, officers and volunteers jumped into action to provide food, shelter, transportation, and medical care.
Local ministries like Catholic Charities of Dallas work to reassure families and find them hotel rooms and places to stay. Spanish-speaking officers with the Dallas Police Department translate what they can and gather necessary supplies like diapers and shoes for children.
“It’s such a vulnerable situation for them,” said Christina da Silva, who works for the Dallas Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affairs office and has been assisting with the migrant families. “Dallas is a welcoming city. We want to respect their dignity as a human.”